Cities and population
The capital is Lomé with about 2 million residents. The population has doubled in recent years, and the suburbs are expanding further and further to the north and south-east. Lomé is also the most important location of the so-called modern sector. Other larger cities are Kara (109 000 Ew.), Sokodé (105 000 Ew.), Kpalimé (85 000 Ew.), Atakpamé (77 000 Ew.), Dapaong (66 000 Ew.), Tsévié (56 000 Ew.), Mango (40 000 Ew.), Notsé (40 000 Ew.), Bassar (25 000 Ew.) And Aného(25 000 Ew,). The Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Economique et Démographique provides forecasts about the demographic development of the country up to 2030.
According to aristmarketing, Togo is a “young” country: 40% of the population is under 15 years old, 60% under 25 and only 3% is older than 65 years old. Since the 1970’s, Togo has had one of the highest urbanization rates in West Africa, which is particularly evident in the conurbation of Lomé, where around 25% of the total population now lives. However, by 2025 the urban population will be more concentrated in places with a population of 10,000 to 50,000 people, where a third of the total population will live. In 2000 Togo had 38 towns with more than 10,000 residents, in 2020 this number has almost doubled to 70 towns. The proportion of the urban population as a whole was just 8.8% when it gained independence in 1960, while it is 42% today.
Affordable housing is becoming increasingly scarce in the capital of Togo, so that many residents are moving further and further to the periphery or settling in some of the urban slums, such as in ‘Katanga’, a ‘Bidonville’ near the port. In the past 10 years, prostitution as a trade has grown significantly.
The population of Togo has quadrupled since 1960. The last census in Togo took place in 2010 and showed 6,191,000 residents. Estimates assume a population of 8.2 million for 2019.
Transport and infrastructure
The three railway lines, which date from the German colonial era, have been shut down and are used for other purposes. Only small, later built branch lines transport phosphate and cement to the port. The government transferred the license to use these railways to two Indian investors.
The roads are the most important mode of transport today. In the mountainous regions of northern Togo, new bypass roads were built between Aléheridé and Bafilo and between Defalé and Kandé, which were opened to traffic in January 2015. For the repair and expansion of the line from Sokodé to BassarBADEA (Banque arabe pour le développement économique en Afrique) is providing 10 million dollars and the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Development – FDK – secured a loan of almost 10 billion francs CFA (around 15 million euros) for this section in March 2016 to. Further donors could be won for this route. The Islamic Development Bank is financing additional road construction in northern Togo with $ 192 million.
A new cross-border bridge over the Mono between the towns of Athiémè and Agoméglozou is under construction. The green light was given for the expansion of the road from Lomé to Cotonou after an international group of experts had endorsed this project as part of the Abidjan – Lagos corridor.
In order to relieve the urban area of Lomé from trucks in transit traffic, a bypass road was built from the port to Agoényvé. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport stated that Togo needs 40 billion francs CFA annually for the maintenance of the roads. The port and airport were also expanded and enlarged. The new airport in Lomé was inaugurated in April 2016 and the airport in Niamtougou is to be modernized by a Chinese company and will be operational again in 2022. These complex infrastructure measures are presented in an impressive film clip.
According to Henok Teferra, the general director of the national Asky airline, Lomé is to become an important hub in transatlantic air traffic, as Ethiopian Airlines now has three direct flights a week to the USA.
Within a few years, the number of registered cars has doubled to 14,500 in 2016, which can be partly explained by the large and affordable range of used vehicles from Europe. A total of over 83,000 vehicles (cars, buses, trucks) are registered. The government launched an offensive to reduce the number of traffic accidents. In September 2015, she introduced a new system of driver’s license testing to take up the fight against fake driver’s licenses. The Association of Chauffeurs demands management of the bus stations, as the conditions are obviously chaotic. The urban bus company Sotral has expanded its reds in Lomé and also offers long-distance routes across the country.
Most Togoers use the Oléyia or Zémidjans (also Zem or Z), as the moto taxis are called in Togo, to get around. Unfortunately, accidents happen again and again because the drivers are often overworked or drive under the influence of alcohol. Many of them own the motorcycle, which they do not work with themselves, but borrow it to earn money. The GoZem app is now available to improve the use of moto taxis. The funniest contribution to this popular urban mode of transport is made by the music group Toofan. In the meantime, a TV series (sitcom) has been shot with the Zémidjans at its center.